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BF4 - bottleneck performance issues? Other components letting down GTX 760?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 11, 2014 2:09:04 AM

Hi - I've included as much system information as I could after my question below.

My question :

I upgraded my graphics card recently to an ASUS GTX 760 (full specs below).

I run BF4 at 1360 * 768 on Ultra settings. I would expect smooth 60fps all the time given that the resolution is set much lower than 1080. The res is low as this is the native resolution for my Samsung TV, which I use as my monitor.

The problem is - it manages a smooth 60fps when there aren't other players on screen in multiplayer - but as soon as other players start running around on screen, it stutters, and the hard drive appears to start doing something furiously (hard drive noise and light indicating hard drive activity).

When this happens, FPS can drop to 30-50fps, with screen stutter - it's very annoying. It shouldn't be happening with this card.

I can't figure out what is causing this? It can't be the graphics card? Is some other part of my computer causing a bottleneck?

In particular, I'm wondering whether it is a) the mobo b) the CPU or c) the RAM or a combination of all 3?

I've ruled out the OS as a problem as I have formatted the HD and reinstalled Windows 7 (just a few days ago).

Please help!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE OF CARD: 9 Feb 2014
LAST DATE OF HDD FORMAT: 10 Feb 2014

BUDGET RANGE FOR GPU: £250
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (Battlefield 4, Titanfall, online MMORPs like Tera)

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY:

GPU: Asus Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 DirectCU II OC 2GB GDDR5

Power supply: Corsair Builder Series CX 600 Watt ATX/EPS 80 PLUS Bronze Power Supply Unit

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:

OS: Windows 7 64 bit
CPU: Intel i3 2120
MoBo: Chipset Intel H61, socket type 1155
Memory: Dual channel 2 * 2 gig DDR RAM 1333Mhz, Non ECC memory only
Cooling: standard (i.e. basic fan) cooling in Midi ATX case.
HDD: 500 gigs 7,200rpm

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: amazon.co.uk
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK

OVERCLOCKING: The GPU is meant to be the 'OC edition' - but my mobo apparently doesn't support CPU overclocking - I don't know how this effects the GPU's OCing abilities.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1360 * 768 using Samsung 50 inch Plasma TV, HDMI input.

a b U Graphics card
February 11, 2014 2:19:29 AM

What PSU do you have?
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a b U Graphics card
February 11, 2014 2:34:27 AM

probably your cpu, too slow for bf4
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February 11, 2014 2:50:11 AM

BF4 definately wants a better cpu than that. I was going to say sounds like the kind of thing that can happen when a hard drive is slow and it loads player textures etc. but i'm guessing your cpu is probably maxxed out.

Also if you're from UK stop using Amazon! overclockers.co.uk and scan.co.uk are leagues better in terms of value and after sales service should you need it because they are proper computer stores.
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February 11, 2014 4:36:03 AM

DragonChase said:
What PSU do you have?


Corsair Builder Series CX 600 Watt ATX/EPS 80 PLUS Bronze Power Supply Unit

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a c 103 U Graphics card
February 11, 2014 5:02:26 AM

If you only get performance problems in BF4 then it's probably just the game in its buggy state.

Your CPU would love to use Mantle but your Nvidia card can't use it.
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February 11, 2014 5:38:36 AM

huilun02 said:
If you only get performance problems in BF4 then it's probably just the game in its buggy state.

Your CPU would love to use Mantle but your Nvidia card can't use it.


Actually - a similar thing happens on Tera (the only other game I have tried so far with this card).

Essentially when I'm running around on my own, fighting the AI it's all nice and smooth. The moment other players start running accross the screen, the framerate drops.

What is Mantle? I haven't heard of that before.
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a c 103 U Graphics card
February 11, 2014 5:54:52 AM

Looks like your processor is bottlenecking when in multiplayer action. You will want a better processor for all your online games. Replace your i3 with an i5-3570k if your motherboard has a BIOS that supports the newer Ivy Bridge chipset.

http://www.ebuyer.com/349029-intel-core-i5-3570k-3-4ghz...

Mantle is an API developed by AMD (kind of like AMD's version of DirectX) that is more efficient than DirectX that is able to issue more draw calls given the same CPU power. So it is beneficial in cases like yours when the CPU is bogged down with workload and unable to tell the graphics card to keep the frames up. However this technology only works with AMD graphics cards and so far the only game that uses it is Battlefield 4.
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February 11, 2014 6:14:41 AM

huilun02 said:
Looks like your processor is bottlenecking when in multiplayer action. You will want a better processor for all your online games. Replace your i3 with an i5-3570k if your motherboard has a BIOS that supports the newer Ivy Bridge chipset.

http://www.ebuyer.com/349029-intel-core-i5-3570k-3-4ghz...

Mantle is an API developed by AMD (kind of like AMD's version of DirectX) that is more efficient than DirectX that is able to issue more draw calls given the same CPU power. So it is beneficial in cases like yours when the CPU is bogged down with workload and unable to tell the graphics card to keep the frames up. However this technology only works with AMD graphics cards and so far the only game that uses it is Battlefield 4.


Ah - ok thanks, that makes sense. Is there a way for me to check whether my BIOS supports that particular chipset? I know that the socket type 1155 matches my motherboard, but I'm not sure how to check for BIOS compatibility?

Also - the socket type 1155 isn't out of date is it? I was worried whether buying it would mean that I would then be stuck in terms of possible future upgrades?

I also wanted to rule out the motherboard as a possible bottleneck - are there any features of the motherboard that could be causing this issue? I agree that it probably is the CPU - but just want to double check about the motherboard.
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a c 103 U Graphics card
February 11, 2014 6:26:48 AM

You will have to look up your motherboard's product page in the respective manufacturer website. I can look for you if you can tell me what board you are using.

Ivy Bridge H77/Z77 (the family that includes the i5-3570k) is the end of the line for socket LGA 1155. If you want even better get the i7 version which is the i7-3770k but really the only difference is Hyperthreading support.

If you want to change socket type you will need both a new motherboard and processor. And usually a new board means you will require a new copy of Windows.
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February 11, 2014 7:20:56 AM

huilun02 said:
You will have to look up your motherboard's product page in the respective manufacturer website. I can look for you if you can tell me what board you are using.

Ivy Bridge H77/Z77 (the family that includes the i5-3570k) is the end of the line for socket LGA 1155. If you want even better get the i7 version which is the i7-3770k but really the only difference is Hyperthreading support.

If you want to change socket type you will need both a new motherboard and processor. And usually a new board means you will require a new copy of Windows.


Ah - so my Dell copy of Windows 7 is probably tied to the motherboard? Ok, I hadn't realised that. I'm assuming that if I had bought my own copy of Windows 7 then I could have probably transferred it to a different motherboard? Or is the OS always tied to a single motherboard?

Motherboard information - I had a look in my Dell manual - the chipset is 'Intel H61'. This appears to be Intel's page for the H61, but I'm having trouble finding a compatibility list for processors:

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/chipsets/mainstr...
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a c 103 U Graphics card
February 11, 2014 7:44:54 AM

You can transfer the operating system to another board only if it is the full retail version (which is a lot more expensive)
If it came pre-installed with the computer then it is an OEM version that cannot be transferred. Usually people buy the OEM version because it is way cheaper.

Intel H61 is just the chipset of your motherboard. It doesn't tell you what board you have.

Bad news is, if its a Dell system they don't produce BIOS updates to make your motherboard work with any newer processor. So the only option of a better processor is one from the same family as your current i3 (Sandy Bridge) and those i5 and i7's are discontinued products so very hard to find and if you find one, probably very expensive.
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February 11, 2014 8:24:32 AM

huilun02 said:
You can transfer the operating system to another board only if it is the full retail version (which is a lot more expensive)
If it came pre-installed with the computer then it is an OEM version that cannot be transferred. Usually people buy the OEM version because it is way cheaper.

Intel H61 is just the chipset of your motherboard. It doesn't tell you what board you have.

Bad news is, if its a Dell system they don't produce BIOS updates to make your motherboard work with any newer processor. So the only option of a better processor is one from the same family as your current i3 (Sandy Bridge) and those i5 and i7's are discontinued products so very hard to find and if you find one, probably very expensive.


Doh - let me check with Dell to see if I can find a BIOS update for my product. Can we assume that it definitely isn't compatible with the newer generation of i5 processor? (the one that you recommended?)
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a c 103 U Graphics card
February 11, 2014 8:37:11 AM

Lets not give up hope. There is a chance Dell used a motherboard that is not rigged. If you can, tell me the exact model of the system. And look in the manual for any Dell support pages or details about the hardware.
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a b U Graphics card
February 11, 2014 8:39:00 AM

There isnt a huge benefit to Ivy over Sandy anyway, a Sandy i5 will still work very well for you.
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February 11, 2014 8:43:31 AM

huilun02 said:
You can transfer the operating system to another board only if it is the full retail version (which is a lot more expensive)
If it came pre-installed with the computer then it is an OEM version that cannot be transferred. Usually people buy the OEM version because it is way cheaper.

Intel H61 is just the chipset of your motherboard. It doesn't tell you what board you have.

Bad news is, if its a Dell system they don't produce BIOS updates to make your motherboard work with any newer processor. So the only option of a better processor is one from the same family as your current i3 (Sandy Bridge) and those i5 and i7's are discontinued products so very hard to find and if you find one, probably very expensive.


This appears to be the latest Dell BIOS update, but annoyingly there's no indication of whether or not it added support for Ivy Bridge processors...

http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/04/DriverDeta...
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a b U Graphics card
February 11, 2014 10:09:10 PM

RobCrezz said:
There isnt a huge benefit to Ivy over Sandy anyway, a Sandy i5 will still work very well for you.


This, the i5-2500k is still a great processor ^^

same as the i7-2600k although there is barely any difference other than hyperthreading.
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February 12, 2014 1:40:03 AM

huilun02 said:
Ok forget the Ivy Bridge processors. I just remembered your board doesn't allow you to overclock even if the processor is unlocked.

This Sandy i5 should be the best bet
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-Sandybridge-i5-2500-Quad-...


Awesome, thanks for all your help! :) 

I have now ordered this processor from Amazon - fingers crossed that it fixes the problem...
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February 12, 2014 1:40:47 AM

And thanks also to everyone else that replied to this thread!
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February 18, 2014 2:24:09 AM

Result: so I installed the i5 2500, and it seems to have done the trick. It's still not super silky smooth - but definitely smoother than it was.

Definite increase of framerate of around 10-20fps.

Thx everyone. Bit annoyed at having to fork out so much for an obsolete CPU, but hey - it was either that or overhaul the mobo, and then buy another copy of Windows 7, which would've been double the cost.

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a b U Graphics card
February 18, 2014 2:38:51 AM

That sounds good, the only other thing I would recommend would be another 4Gb of Ram. The 4Gb you are on is probably getting consumed in BF4, worth checking.

I have seen people say they have seen 5-7Gb of RAM usage when playing BF4, so if you are having to page to disk, that will certainly cause another bottleneck.
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February 18, 2014 2:47:21 AM

its the RAM problem or u CPU problem but i also have the same graphics card i can run bf4 on ultra at 1080p resolution in my monitor
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February 18, 2014 5:19:12 AM

RobCrezz said:
That sounds good, the only other thing I would recommend would be another 4Gb of Ram. The 4Gb you are on is probably getting consumed in BF4, worth checking.

I have seen people say they have seen 5-7Gb of RAM usage when playing BF4, so if you are having to page to disk, that will certainly cause another bottleneck.


Ok, thanks - I'll order a couple of 4gig sticks:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9-Vengea...
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February 24, 2014 6:05:09 AM

RobCrezz said:
That sounds good, the only other thing I would recommend would be another 4Gb of Ram. The 4Gb you are on is probably getting consumed in BF4, worth checking.

I have seen people say they have seen 5-7Gb of RAM usage when playing BF4, so if you are having to page to disk, that will certainly cause another bottleneck.


That did the trick - BF4 is now silky smooth.

Tera is still a bit jerky at bits - but from doing a bit more research, I understand that this is mainly down to poor coding used in the game. My framerate can fluctuate from 100fps down to 20 in towns and cities. There must be something wrong with the way the game handles multiple PCs on screen.
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a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2014 8:47:01 AM

Cool, glad its all sorted. You have a good spec gaming PC now and you are ready for 1080p if you ever decide to change your screen. Yeah I think that is just tera..
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!